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1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Thomas D. Senor From the Editor
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2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Mark B. Anderson On Responsibility and Original Sin: A Molinist Suggestion
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A crucial objection to the doctrine of original sin is that it conflicts with a common intuition that agents are morally responsible only for factors under their control. Here, I present an account of moral responsibility by Michael Zimmerman that accommodates that intuition, and I consider it as a model of original sin, noting both attractions and difficulties with the view.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Laura Frances Callahan Could God Love Cruelty?: A Partial Defense of Unrestricted Theological Voluntarism
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One of the foremost objections to theological voluntarism is the contingency objection. If God’s will fixes moral facts, then what if God willed that agents engage in cruelty? I argue that even unrestricted theological voluntarists should accept some logical constraints on possible moral systems—hence, some limits on ways that God could have willed morality to be—and these logical constraints are sufficient to blunt the force of the contingency objec­tion. One constraint I defend is a very weak accessibility requirement, related to (but less problematic than) existence internalism in metaethics. The theo­logical voluntarist can maintain: Godcouldn’t have loved cruelty, and even though he could have willed behaviors we find abhorrent, he could only have done so in a world of deeply alien moral agents. We cannot confidently declare such a world unacceptable.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Robert J. Hartman Heavenly Freedom and Two Models of Character Perfection
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Human persons can act with libertarian freedom in heaven according to one prominent view, because they have freely acquired perfect virtue in their pre-heavenly lives such that acting rightly in heaven is volitionally necessary. But since the character of human persons is not perfect at death, how is their character perfected? On the unilateral model, God alone completes the perfec­tion of their character, and, on the cooperative model, God continues to work with them in purgatory to perfect their own character. I argue that although both models can make sense of all human persons enjoying free will in heaven on var­ious assumptions, the cooperative model allows all human persons in heaven to enjoy a greater degree of freedom. This consideration about the degree of heav­enly freedom provides a reason for God to implement the cooperative model.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
John Pittard Worship and the Problem of Divine Achievement
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Gwen Bradford has plausibly argued that one attains achievement only if one does something one finds difficult. It is also plausible that one must attain achievement to be worthy of “agential” praise, praise that is appropriately directed to someone on the basis of things that redound to their credit. These claims pose a challenge to classical theists who direct agential praise to God, since classical theism arguably entails that none of God’s actions are difficult for God. I consider responses to this challenge and commend a view according to which God’s loving character is not necessitated by God’s nature but is a contingent and difficult achievement. I argue that this view can still satisfy the explanatory ambitions of natural theology.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
James Dominic Rooney, OP Banez’s Big Problem: The Ground of Freedom
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While many philosophers of religion are familiar with the reconciliation of grace and freedom known as Molinism, fewer by far are familiar with that position initially developed by Molina’s erstwhile rival, Domingo Banez (i.e., Banezianism). My aim is to clarify a serious problem for the Banezian: how the Banezian can avoid the apparent conflict between a strong notion of freedom and apparently compatibilist conclusions. The most prominent attempt to defend Banezianism against compatibilism was (in)famously endorsed by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. Even if it were true that freedom does not require alternative possibilities, Banezians have a grounding problem.
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Jordan Wessling On St. Isaac the Syrian’s Argument Against Divine Retribution
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Many theists maintain that God punishes humans retributively, whereby God intentionally harms those punished as their sins deserve, without also aiming qua punishment to contribute to the immediate or ultimate flourishing of those punished, or to the flourishing of some third (human) party. By contrast, St. Isaac the Syrian in effect contends that such an understanding of divine retribution is incompatible with a plausible understanding of God’s initial creative purposes of love and is thus untrue. In this paper, I present and sub­stantially build upon Isaac’s contention, and I defend the resulting developed argument as a good argument worthy of further consideration.
book reviews
8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
J. L. Aijian Andrew P. Chignell, ed.: Evil: A History
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Brendan Sweetman Peter Forrest: Intellectual, Humanist and Religious Commitment: Acts Of Assent
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10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Daniel Rubio Jeffrey Koperski: Divine Action, Determinism, and The Laws of Nature
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11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Jonathan C. Rutledge Jaco Gericke: A Philosophical Theology of The Old Testament: A Historical, Experimental, Comparative and Analytic Perspective
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12. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Douglas Groothuis N. T. Wright: History and Eschatology: Jesus and The Promise of Natural Theology
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13. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Mark Murphy From the Editor
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14. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Michael L. Peterson In Memoriam: William J. Wainwright
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15. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Ted Poston The Intrinsic Probability of Grand Explanatory Theories
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This paper articulates a way to ground a relatively high prior probability for grand explanatory theories apart from an appeal to simplicity. I explore the possibility of enumerating the space of plausible grand theories of the universe by using the explanatory properties of possible views to limit the number of plausible theories. I motivate this alternative grounding by showing that Swinburne’s appeal to simplicity is problematic along several dimensions. I then argue that there are three plausible grand views—theism, atheism, and axiarchism—which satisfy explanatory requirements for plau­sibility. Other possible views lack the explanatory virtue of these three theo­ries. Consequently, this explanatory grounding provides a way of securing a nontrivial prior probability for theism, atheism, and axiarchism. An important upshot of my approach is that a modest amount of empirical evidence can bear significantly on the posterior probability of grand theories of the universe.
16. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Blake McAlister The Perspectival Problem of Evil
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Whether evil provides evidence against the existence of God, and to what degree, depends on how things seem to the subject—i.e., on one’s perspective. I explain three ways in which adopting an atheistic perspective can increase support for atheism via considerations of evil. The first is by intensifying the common sense problem of evil by making evil seem gratuitous or intrinsically wrong to allow. The second is by diminishing the apparent fit between theism and our observations of evil. The third is by lowering the initial plausibility of theism. I call this “the perspectival problem of evil” and argue that skeptical theism does not fully address it.
17. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Felipe Miguel The Epistemic Significance of Agreement with Exceptional Theistic Philosophers
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Suppose that you realize that a substantial majority of the most important philosophers of all time agreed with you on some proposition p. Intuitively, you have gained additional evidence in favor of p and you should increase your confidence that p is true. It turns out that a large number of the most important philosophers of all time (in fact, the vast majority, if we consider, as we will, a recent poll conducted with contemporary philosophers) were the­ists. In this paper, I explore the epistemic significance of agreement with these philosophers with respect to their theistic beliefs. I argue that agreement with such philosophers does provide evidence in favor of theism.
18. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
A. G. Holdier Is Heaven a Zoopolis?
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The concept of service found in Christian theism and related religious per­spectives offers robust support for a political defense of nonhuman animal rights, both in the eschaton and in the present state. By adapting the political theory defended by Donaldson and Kymlicka to contemporary theological models of the afterlife and of human agency, I defend a picture of heaven as a harmoniously structured society where humans are the functional lead­ers of a multifaceted, interspecies citizenry. Consequently, orthodox religious believers (concerned with promoting God’s will “on Earth as it is in Heaven”) have a duty to promote and protect the interests of nonhuman creatures in the present, premortem state.
19. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Tien-Chun Lo F-Duplicates and Trivialization: A Reply to Speaks
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In this paper, I will defend a strategy for employing perfect being theology that Jeff Speaks calls “restriction strategy.” In Section I, I will outline what the restriction strategy is and explicate Speaks’s objection to it. In Section II, I will propose a response to Speaks’s objection. In Section III, the response will be refined to avoid objections. My contention will be that this refined version of perfect being theology avoids Speaks’s objection, and therefore can help theists find what divine attributes God has.
review essay
20. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 4
Joshua Thurow, Jada Twedt Strabbing Entwining Thomistic and Anselmian Interpretations of the Atonement
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In Atonement, Eleonore Stump develops a novel and compelling Thomistic account of the atonement and argues that Anselmian interpretations must be rejected. In this review essay, after summarizing her account, we raise wor­ries about some aspects of it. First, we respond to her primary objection to Anselmian interpretations by arguing that, contrary to Stump, love does not require unilateral and unconditional forgiveness. Second, we suggest that the heart of Anselmian interpretations—that reconciliation with God requires rep­aration/restitution/satisfaction—is plausible and well-supported by some of her own arguments. Third, we raise doubts about her views of the role of sur­render in justification and the nature of justification itself. Finally, we question whether Stump’s account can successfully explain how the atonement deals with pre-justification sin. A central theme of our comments is that Stump’s Thomistic interpretation can be entwined with Anselmian interpretations to make a stronger account of the atonement.